In the mid-nineties I was a Hollywood screenwriter, (Iceman, Innerspace, Top Gun, Secrets of War) and “script doctor”. With these titles and my notorious script Interface, which predicted the internet, my specialty was “high-concept” sci-fi and military. As such I would get offered every sci-fi and space-oriented script in town to rewrite. I puzzled at the fact that every script about space seemed to have a homicidal alien popping out of a chest or sucking someone’s brains out. It seemed there were no uplifting stories about a realistic future in space. NASA had not expressed that because of a failure of communication, resulting in a Hollywood culture with a failure of vision.
I started attending space conferences, asking one simple question, over and over; what is the main compelling reason to go to space, to establish a lunar colony that the general public will embrace and, more importantly, fund...? There were no good answers. Space enthusiasts were fractured and self-involved. It was for science, to learn about our solar system, or just because it would be cool to again walk on the moon, etc... nothing of any immediate and important impact on the American citizen... no concept capable of causing the funding to make it happen.
Then, in 2004,I read a paper by Dr. Martin Hoffert and thirty other leading scientists and engineers. The climate crisis was real, it would grow logarithmically with population and there were no earthly technologies capable of solving the problem. Further research revealed that the solutions, at least to me, could be Space Solar Power, Lunar Based Solar Power and Helium3 for fusion fuel from the moon.
But these means to mitigate climate change were short-stopped by the NASA culture of government/military style oversight and funding patterns, along with the denial of science and climate change by the American right wing, funded and controlled by fossil fuel puppets which distracted and enthralled the American public.
The Right Wing American Canon of anti-government laissez faire free market operations is exacerbated by the NASA funding failure, the myth of American Exceptionalism and the subsequent fear of foreign influence and “World Government” seen in many international arenas, which has likewise derailed progress.
Then, recently, a NASA administrator, found a loophole in NASA funding protocol which permitted a sea (or space) change. Making NASA simply a buyer of privately developed COTS hardware and operations, with development and testing in private hands, and determined by the free market has proven to reduce costs by an amazing 8 to 10 times. Suddenly space operations are affordable, and even...profitable. Progress is leaping ahead. We could have a lunar colony and cislunar operations, and soon.
...Which is a critical, but not the most important thing.
With the new concept of Space Solar Power Alpha, we could immediately start developing enough clean power to reduce fossil fuel and mitigate climate change before it is too late. That is the fundamental reason to quickly go to space. Nothing else comes close.
We need a full court press; a Marshal Plan, a Manhattan Project. We need to mobilize as if its a war. Because it’s much more important than one.